Review Grab Bag (1-12-14): Meanwhile… in Canada Edition

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It’s the first Fat Guy With Glasses post of 2014!  Woo!  New Years and shit!  It’s 2014’s first Review Grab Bag.  As you all know, a Review Grab Bag is a like a paper bag lunch, full of a few paragraphs on some things that I just wasn’t able to write a long winded, “insightful” review about.  It’s also kinda list-esque, if you squint and tilt your head a bit.

Since it’s a contractual obligation for every blogger to have their first post of any given year be either a Happy New Year post, or some kind of list, this is what you get.  Sure, it’s usually supposed to be a Best/Worst list or an “I’m certainly never doing this again” list, I think the Blog Police will let me slide with this… as long as I wish everyone a Happy New Year at some point.

As it turns out, as an overall percentage, I watched a large number of Canadian Indie Films in 2013.  Some, like One Week, or Adventures of Thunderstorm:  Return of Thor, I was able to eek out full reviews for.  Others, my impressions were not so easy to articulate.  Sorry, you’ll just have to settle for a couple paragraphs abuht each, eh?

Kids in the Hall:  Brain Candy (1996)

Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996)

There are so many reasons I love this film. The Kids are at the top of their form here. They play several different roles, and it’s an easy fact to forget when you’re watching the film. They do it almost too well. The Kids cast themselves perfectly. The characters they play are incredibly interesting. There are too many to name here, and they are all worth mentioning. I also found it funny that the lead role went to the self-admitted “Least Favorite Kid”, Kevin McDonald.

Some of the best lines in existence are in this movie. Several of them come from Bruce McCulloch’s character, Sisko. But besides that, everyone has at least one awesome line. Like “The Simpsons”, I quote this film practically on a daily basis almost without realizing it.

Mini Phoning-It-In:  That was actually an excerpt from my April 2000 Epinions review that’s still accurate almost 14 years later!


A Little Bit Zombie (2012)

A Little Bit Zombie (2012)

When a mild mannered, pussy-whipped guy gets bitten by a fly that’s bitten a zombie, he starts going through some unusual appetite and attitude changes.  Even as a cheesey comedy, this movie is a trainwreck.  This might be good for mid- to late-teens seeing these joke tropes for the first time.  Or maybe if you were to watch it with a group of inebriated friends it might have some so-bad-its-good redeeming qualities.  

Shout-out to my fellow New Brunswicker, Robert “Kurrgan” Maillet for being an excellent Lug, and poor unfortunate soul.  And Stephen McHattie delivers an excellent performance as the grizzled zombie hunter, Max.  If these scenes are on YouTube, you might want to just watch that instead.


Peepers (2010)

Peepers (2010)

An extremely well organized group of Peeping Toms patrol the rooftops of Montreal, looking for exposed flesh and a way to vicariously live their lives.  The follow the “Peeper’s Code”, which the movie presents as a set of rules that “Peepers”, honourable Peeping Toms, must follow in their endeavours.  When a local female professor begins to take an interest in studying their activities, she upsets the status quo of group’s defacto leader, Steve Sherman.

While this is certainly intended as a dark comedy, I found the laughs few and far between.  Regardless, the characters are engaging enough that you might just become interested enough to watch it the whole way through.  If you’re a fan of dark indie comedy with a twist of awkward sexual tension, there’s a great chance you’ll enjoy this one.


Stag (2013)

Stag (2013)

Ken (Donald Faison) is getting married.  For years he’s been the mastermind behind some awful Stag Party pranks, and he’s now terrified that his friends are plotting their vengeance.  Luke (Jon Dore) is reluctant to even attend, but gets put in charge of picking up the stripper (Leah Renee), who not only strips for the money, but as research for a paper she’s writing on male behaviour.   

I only watched this movie because it had Donald Faison in it, and I was between re-views of Scrubs.  I stayed for Leah Renee.  I still almost shut it off when it basically became clear that the movie’s actual lead character was going to be played by Jon Dore, who pretty much just constantly annoys me.  Most of the other guys in attendance are your standard cut-out characters, Socially Inept Guy, Awkwardly Unassertive Guy, Overbearing Asshole Guy, Obsessed With Revenge Guy and so on.  They have pretty predictable arcs.  There are a few laughs to be had here–mostly from the ridiculous, awkwardly bad stag party–but nothing that requires anyone actively seek the movie out to watch it, unless you’re dying to watch another mediocre party-based comedy.


Shit.  I forgot to wish everyone “Happy New Year”.

2 comments on “Review Grab Bag (1-12-14): Meanwhile… in Canada Edition

  1. I had the opportunity to watch Stag last year, and almost took it out of the desire to add a few more 2013 films to my record before 2013 ended. Then I stopped and thought “There’s little chance I’ll enjoy this” and decided not to.

    • And now that you’ve read my review, I’m sure you’ll awaken in a cold sweat every night from now on. Consumed with regret, you’ll trudge through the days, wondering if you’ll ever get such an opportunity again..

      Or something like that.

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